January 29, 2010

Hedgehog Day

So, word around the internet is that Groundhog Day, the day that we look to a fat hibernating rodent to provide us with hope of spring was originally Hedgehog Day. Well. Technically. See, in medieval Europe the Julian and Gregorian Calendars had different markers for spring and before that pagans had their own symbols of the return of the sun. So, somewhere along the line hedgehogs, sacred bears and other hibernating animals emerging from their burrows became a folklore tool to divine whether the bleak winter was at an end or would continue for six more weeks. When Europeans came to North America they brought the tradition but subbed in groundhogs as the animal of choice. Interesting.

Sources: Wikipedia / news-leader.com / hedgehogcentral.com 

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